Wednesday, December 14, 2011


So here I am again, two months later, updating my blog that I promised to update. A lot has happened since my last post. I last wrote in October... what did I do in October? I honestly can't even remember what I did on Halloween. Probably nothing. November came and went and I stayed very busy at work. I did finish reading "One Child" by Torey Hayden. For anyone who works with children, it's a great book.
For Thanksgiving I had a big trip planned. Chip and I wanted to go to Nashville for a night, spend two nights with my grandparents in Mississippi, and then finish up our trip with some friends in Cleveland, Tennessee. We didn't make it past Kentucky because the transmission in my car went out. Why did we take the Civic you ask? Because Chip's car needed some routine work done and he didn't have time to get it fixed before we left. Anyway, I now have a new 2010 Ford Fusion with basically no miles on it-- Brand new to me! This one isn't actually mine, but it looks like this: 


Two weeks after Thanksgiving, I found out that my grandmother passed away. Of course she had to die right after my failed attempt to go see her. I am still super upset about the fact that I could have seen her right before she died, but I am trying not to feel guilty. There was nothing that I could have done to prevent my car dying on the side of the road. The funeral was this past Monday. The service was really nice and it was great to see family. I will miss my grandmother a lot. She was the only grandmother that I ever knew.
My grandmother and I were close and both really loved to read. She would always tell me what she was reading. Whenever she was done with them she would mail be a huge box of books. It was like Christmas every time she sent me a package. 

After the funeral, everyone said that I should take her Kindle. Unfortunately, I couldn't get into the Kindle because I didn't know the password. Grandmother had a list of her passwords to various places next to her computer, but her Kindle password wasn't there. My grandpa, aunt, cousin and I sat at the table and tried to think of what her password might have been. We tried for about an hour it seemed until we gave up. The next day I called the Kindle people and after I explained the situation, they were nice enough to help me get into it. They couldn't give me the password, but they helped me somehow.
Once I got into the Kindle, I saw that my grandmother had 47 books in it. Out of those 47 books I had only read 3! I was super excited!! 44 books to read? I'm set! 
I never thought that I would have liked to read a Kindle. I have always said how much I like the feel of a real live genuine book in my hands, but surprisingly I like it. The best part about it is that I can plug it into the iPod connecter in my car, turn it on text to speech, and listen to the book while I'm driving.

So as I looked through my grandmother's list of books, I recognized the title The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. 
I still do not know where I recognize the title from, nor can I remember who told me about it. Anyway, this is the one that I decided to read. It is about a woman who has worked her entire life as the concierge in an upscale apartment building in Paris. Renee has grown up poor, never gone to formal school, and is fat and ugly (or so she says). Although her upbringing hasn't been the best, she is brilliant. For some reason she decided to hide her genius and dumbs herself down to everyone she meets. Parallel to Renee's story, Paloma is a 12 year old girl who is also a genius. She, however, was brought up in a wealthy family. She lives in the apartment building where Renee works. Paloma will turn 13 on July 16 when she plans to burn down her parents' apartment and then kill herself with sleeping pills. A new apartment owner moves into the apartment complex and soon discovers the hidden value in each of these women.
The book has a good story, but it is very verbose. It takes a little bit of brain power to read it. To be honest, I've had to look about about 10 words in the dictionary. Fortunately, on the Kindle the dictionary is just a few clicks away. What I also really like about the Kindle is that you can highlight in the book. My grandmother had read this book before me and had highlighted many things. I am really enjoying looking what she had highlighted. The following are quotes that she highlighted:

"Madame Michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside, she's covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary - and terribly elegant."

"But if you dread tomorrow, it's because you don't know how to built he present, and when you don't know how to build the present, you tell yourself you can deal with it tomorrow, and it's a lost cause anyway because tomorrow always ends up becoming today, don't you see?"

So, even though I lost my grandmother, I am so happy to have her Kindle and to be able to read all of the lines that she highlighted. Tomorrow would have been my grandmother's 84th birthday. I devote this blog post to her. :)
Pick up this book if you are up for a challenging read! I'll let you know what I think of it when I finish.


1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry about the passing of your grandmother and that you did not get to make the trip out to see her. I hope that you and your family are doing well. How wonderful that you got to keep her Kindle. I am always interested in what people like to read and what they found interesting about a certain book so I'm sure having your grandmother's Kindle makes you feel even closer to her.